Itinerary for 12 nights in Ireland

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Aug 17th, 2009, 05:36 PM
  #1
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Itinerary for 12 nights in Ireland

Now that I'm retired, my wife and I want to see Ireland, but with a nod to where my ancestors came from. We intend to return for more in-depth visits. I wish we could go for more than 12 nights in Ireland, but that is my wife's limit on being away from the grandbaby.

I have my hotels for Oct 2, 12 and 13, but hope to do B&B’s for the other nights - without reservations. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Oct 1 – Depart U.S.A.
Oct 2 - Arrive Dublin; tour and stay the night near old city center.
Oct 3 - Visit Glendalough, Kilkenney Celtic Festival; stay in Kilkenny
Oct 4 (Sunday) - Visit Rock of Cashel, Barryscourt Castle (ancestor), Cobh; stay in Kinsale
Oct 5 - Tour Kinsale and Charles Fort, on to Muckross House/Friary; stay in Muckross (near Killarney)
Oct 6 - Drive Ring o'Kerry; stay in Dingle
Oct 7 - Drive Slea Peninsula, visit Bunratty Castle & Durty Nellies Pub; stay in Bunratty (near Limerick)
Oct 8 - Visit Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Tour Galway; Night in Galway
Oct 9 - Drive through Connemara to Clifden, visit Kylemore Abbey, Night in Westport
Oct 10 Thru Sligo and Donegal to Derry; night in LondonDerry
Oct 11 (Sunday) Visit Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway and Rope Bridge - night in LondonDerry
Oct 12 Drive to Omagh-Ulster/Amer.Folk Park, visit Armagh(ancestor) and Nayan Fort; night at Smarmore Castle, Ardee.
Oct 13 Visit Monasterboice, New Grange, Bend of the Boyne, Hills of Tara & Slane; night in Bewley’s Hotel near Dublin airport.
Oct 14 Return to U.S.A.
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Aug 17th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Wow - you are moving hotels/b&bs EVERY night, almost, and you're trying to see most of the country in twelve days. That is a lot of moving around, checking in, checking out, finding new places, and driving in the car. If you know that's how you like to travel, more power to you, but I think it would be way too much for me. Remember, even though Ireland is a small country, you can't move very fast. I had heard a rule of thumb on here about averaging approximately 35mph, and that was about dead on during my trip to Kerry and Clare.

I know you feel like you have limited time to see a lot, but I would really suggest thinking about whether you might enjoy it more if you can slow down and focus on, say, half the country. You can see a great amount in twelve days, but if it were me doing your itinerary, I don't think I'd remember much of it.
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Aug 19th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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jent103 - thanks for your response. I've taken your suggestions to heart.

I would appreciate anyone's comments on this more compact revision:

Oct 1 – Depart U.S.A.
Oct 2 - Arrive Dublin-rent car (can't fly into Shannon) Visit Glendalough, Kilkenney Celtic Festival; stay in Kilkenny
Oct 3 - Visit Rock of Cashel, Barryscourt Castle (ancestor), Cobh; stay in Kinsale
Oct 4 - Tour Kinsale and Charles Fort, on to Muckross House/Friary; stay in Muckross (near Killarney)
Oct 5 - Drive Ring o'Kerry; stay in Dingle
Oct 6 - Drive Slea Peninsula, stay in Dingle
Oct 7 - Visit Bunratty Castle & Durty Nellies Pub; stay in Bunratty (near Limerick)
Oct 8 - Visit Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Tour Galway; Night in Galway
Oct 9 - Drive to Clifden, visit Kylemore Abbey & Aughnanure Castle, Night in Galway
Oct 10 Thru Sligo to Enniskillen - visit Belleek factory; night at Enniskillen
Oct 11 Visit Kells-High Cross & Round Tower and Monasterboice; night at Smarmore Castle, Ardee.
Oct 12 Visit NewGrange, Valley of the Boyne, Hills of Tara & Slane; night at Smarmore Castle, Ardee.
Oct 13 Turn in car at airport; tour Dublin, night in Bewley’s Hotel near Dublin airport.
Oct 14 Return to U.S.A.
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Aug 19th, 2009, 07:18 PM
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That's a bit better. You're still moving around a lot, especially at the beginning. I can't help with all of your trip, as I haven't been to the north. Just a few thoughts:

Oct. 2 worries me a little, because you're planning to drive quite a bit after taking an overnight flight and while suffering jet lag. I'd consider staying in Wicklow that night. Besides, I wouldn't want to rush through Glendalough to try to make the festival.

I might consider substituting something in Killarney National Park or the surrounding area for the Ring of Kerry, for the following reasons: First, if you don't, you will be in the car ALL day on day 5, and will be driving most of days 5 and 6. Second, driving two scenic routes in two days might get a little old for me, despite their beauty. I think a lot of people, if forced to choose, would pick Slea Head over the Ring of Kerry. I would do that, and do something like the Gap of Dunloe tour instead of the ROK. (I really enjoyed that. The tour company takes you between Killarney and the Gap, and in between you can either walk or hire a jaunting cart to take you through, then take a boat tour across the three lakes. There are other things to see in the park, though, if that doesn't appeal to you.)

Oct. 8 is going to be a really, really full day. When I stayed in Ennis it took us about an hour or so to get to the Cliffs. We took the Cliffs cruise (highly recommended, by the way), drove back to Ennis through the Burren and ended up back basically in time for dinner. Adding a tour of Galway to that is a lot, I think.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I would still really consider slowing down a bit. You said in your first post that you intend to return for more in-depth visits, and I imagine that you're trying to get an overview of what you like so you'll know where to go back to. And if this speed of travel suits you, great. But I'm used to traveling pretty quickly, and I think I'd be more tired at the end of the trip than I was at the beginning!
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Aug 19th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Dublin is really worth at least two nights. I would at least move that last night to the front of your itinerary. That would allow you to get over your jet lag and to spend time in a great vibrant little city. You could take an historical walking tour and a musical pub tour, and then you'd have a bit of a feel of Ireland and be ready for the rest of your trip. Please rethink it!
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Aug 20th, 2009, 05:32 AM
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I think your revised trip sounds exremely ambitious. We've (in our 50's)just returned from a 10 day trip and we visited four areas: Glendalough (County Wicklow), Cliffs of Mohr(County Clare), Dingle penninsula(County Kerry) and Dublin. Except Dublin (3 nights) we stayed in each place 2 nights before moving on. Even with two nights we felt like we were just getting to know a place when we had to pack up. Your plan has you checking in and out of and carrying luggage in and out of lodging every day. I recommend choosing a few places to explore and get to know rather than trying to hit a long list of sites. Cheers-
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Aug 20th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Thanks to all who have commented. Perhaps I should skip Glendalough and Kilkenney in order to spend the first night in Dublin. I would get up on the 3rd and visit the Rock of Cashel, Barryscourt Castle (ancestor) and stay two nights in Kinsale.
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Aug 20th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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It's still a bit busier than I would like -- for example, Connemara in a day is hardly skimming the surface of the region (I have done it myself, but I know Connemara, and can get around very efficiently).

If Belleek very important to you? What it boils down to is that you seem to be putting on a lot of miles for what is, in essence, a visit to a factory -- albeit a factory that is quite well set up for visitors.

Your sequencing of things in the east needs work. For example, Monasterboice is quite near to Newgrange, but you propose visiting them on different days. Ardee-Slane-Monasterboice-Newgrange (+Mellifont) makes a coherent package for a day.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 07:13 AM
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By the way, if you do end up spending your final night in Dublin there is a great comfortable inexpensive airport bus service from all points in the city to the airport. That makes it very easy to stay in the city instead of spending that last night out near the airport, which can be kind of a let down. It makes a loop and runs about every 15 minutes, I believe, and was under 10 euro a couple of years ago.

Conversely, you can take the bus in to the city when you arrive. It picks up right outside the baggage claim doors.
You can then pick up your rental car in the city a day or two later.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 05:21 PM
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arindasue - I'll look for that bus. Does it have a name or number?

Padraig - You comment is on target about Belleek. As long as I can find a Belleek outlet store elsewhere, my wife should be happy. What changes should I make to my plans for Oct 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11? We want to spend a couple of nights in a castle, which is why we chose Smarmore Castle near Ardee.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 05:45 PM
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The bus is called the AirCoach. You don't need any reservation...you can just pay on board. Your hotel should be able to tell you the schedule and where the nearest stop is. We've enjoyed The Davenport Hotel in Dublin and the AirCoach stop is right around the corner!
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Aug 24th, 2009, 03:57 AM
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I would appreciate comments on this revised itinerary:
Oct 1 – Depart U.S.A.
Oct 2 - Arrive Dublin; do the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and stay the night at Bewley’s Hotel near airport
Oct 3 – Rent car at airport-Visit Rock of Cashel & Cobh, night in Kinsale
Oct 4 - Visit Barryscourt Castle (ancestor), Charles Fort & Kinsale, stay in Kinsale
Oct 5 - Drive to Muckross –tour House/Friary and Torc Waterfall; stay in Kenmare
Oct 6 - Drive Ring of Kerry; night in Dingle
Oct 7 - Drive Slea Peninsula, stay in Dingle
Oct 8 - Visit Bunratty Castle & Durty Nellies Pub; stay in Ennis
Oct 9 - Visit Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Tour Galway; Night in Galway
Oct 10- Visit Aran Islands OR Drive to Clifden & Kylemore Abbey, Night in Galway
Oct 11- Drive east to Clonmacnoise, then Trim Castle; night at Smarmore Castle, Ardee.
Oct 12- Visit Monasterboice NewGrange, Valley of the Boyne, Hills of Tara & Slane; night at Smarmore Castle, Ardee
Oct 13- Turn in car at airport; tour Dublin, night in Bewley’s Hotel near Dublin airport
Oct 14 Return to U.S.A.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 05:56 AM
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I think the programme looks a bit better. You leave yourself less time in Galway than I think you should, and you are forcing a choice between two attractive options. One solution would be to travel to Smarmore on the 12th, and stay there on the nights of the 12th and 13th, leaving out the extra day in Dublin. The journey from Ardee to the airport is less than an hour.
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Aug 26th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Just in Case! I stayed at Bewleys Hotel in June, rather new,
clean & contemporary. BUT isolated. No services within walking distances. Your only choice for food is the rather extensive hotel resturants. Suggestions: We took the hotel shuttle to the airport to eat dinner!!
dwe
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Aug 26th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Another reason to stay in the city instead! : )
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Aug 29th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Much better! I'd still cut out one location, which one I don't know. We stayed in some wonderful places this past April if you are interested:
Kilkenny - Rosquil House
Kinsale - Rivermount House (bit outside Kinsale though)
Kenmare - Brook Lane Hotel
Dingle - Castlewood House

Good luck! We also visited Cobh to see where mt great-grandparents sailed from.
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